Part 1: Analysis of the Activities Carried out by the Club:
Part 2: The Environmental and Market forces influencing the future direction of the Club:
Part 3: Future developments being planned by the Club and the contribution of the marketing staff
Manchester City Football Club (MCFC) was found in 1880, and is based in the city of Manchester in United Kingdom (U.K). It currently plays in the world famous Barclays Premier League. Since the 2008 takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group, it has under gone a major reconstruction in terms of both, team and management. The new owners have brought with them a vast financial wealth and renewed success to the club, it is now seen amongst the top clubs in Europe.
This report examines the football Club in reaching its customers and the role played by marketing staff in the development of the Club. Thus the report is divided into three parts. Part one is a critical analysis of the different activities by the Club. Part two deals with the impact of the environmental and market forces on the Club. The third part evaluates the contribution of the marketing staff to the current and future developments carried out by the Club.
Part 1: Analysis of the Activities Carried out by the Club:
The Club Values:
- Building a successful and sustainable football club for the supporters.
- Working closely with the supporters to further footballing ambitions.
- (MCFC, 2011a)
In light of these values the Club is involved in a number of activities, to promote its self and the game of football, the main activities include:
The Clubs youth academy is considered to be amongst the best in the world. Since the take over of the Club, the Abu Dhabi United Group has pumped £10 million into the youth academy, to develop young talent from the age of nine to nineteen. This in a way has paid dividends as forty plus academy graduated have gone on to play in the first team (Williamson, 2010).
According to the Author the club has been constantly criticized for record-breaking sums of transfer fees spent to acquire world-class footballers, but the investment into the youth academy clearly shows that the development of the youth and homegrown stars forms a vital part of the Clubs future plans, this will surly help the Club to be sustainable as more home grown talent is bound to reduce the huge amounts spent as transfer fee.
According to PR MARKETING, (2010) merchandising accounts for a 7.3% share of the total revenue for the top-flight clubs in the European football markets. The Author points out that sale of tickets are no longer enough to sustain a football club in top flight. In order to raise the extra finances Merchandising is necessary. Apart from the extra income, one is able to promote and market the club by this means, clearly merchandising is a top priority for the Club because of the team outlets across Manchester and the online store, where the souvenirs in the form of team kits, designer wear, accessories and many more are made available to the prospective buyers.
According to a recent study by Football-Marketing, (2011), Manchester City were ranked 5th in the social media ranking, with a total of 1,211,836 followers on Facebook and Twitter, with the highest monthly increasing followers at 125,431 per month. There has been a shift from conventional media of communication like TV, Newspapers etc. to a new social trend of communicating, like Facebook, Twitter etc. The Author believes that a successful Club has to communicate with its supporters and what better way to do this than social media, as this is the cheapest way to communicate news, offers, services and other announcements to the supporters.
The Club’s Facebook page aims at creating a forum where the supporters can interact with each other and the players. They can find out about the forthcoming events, matches and player ratings etc. MCFC have signed a content deal with YouTube, the first of its kind in the English Premier League, (Sawyers, 2011), which enables the Club to manage the advertising around its content. These activities are an indication that the Club is actively involved in working hand in hand with the fans.
MCFC have always contributed towards helping the needy. McKeegan, (2011) reports that MCFC were the first club in U.K to start a community initiative called as city in the community (CITC) 25 years ago. CITC aims at forging a closer link between the club and the local communities. CITC activities included free football coaching for youngsters, one city disability projects, school programs for children which raise awareness about social issues such as smoking, drug abuse, environment etc. According to MCFC, (2011b) the Club granted £500,000 as charity to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital towards their £20 million target. CITC, the Club’s charitable side, was awarded for being the “Best Community Scheme Project of the Year”, during the North West Football Awards (Winners, 2011).
The club offers visits seven days a week, throughout the year, which includes the dressing rooms, players tunnel, directors box, Press conference room, pitch side and dugouts. The tour also introduces the participants to the MCFC museum, which displays the history and heritage of the Club.
This according to the Author, gives the supporters an inside view of the Club, the functioning of the staff and a feeling to the fans of being a player on a match day. This helps the club to generate considerable revenue from the tours and at the same time market the Club and the stadium.
Just before the start of the new season the Club indulges in warm up games in different parts of the world with an aim to get the players fit. The Author states that this gives it an opportunity to capitalize on its fan following abroad and popularize the Club, at the same time earn revenue from ticket and merchandise sales.
According to Deloitte, (2011) MCFC have increased their revenue from the last year by 44%. The total comprised of revenue from Match day sales, from Broadcasting and Commercial activities.
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Fig 1: Adopted from Deloitte, (2011)
Revenue from match day sales was 20% (£24.4 million), which largely included the ticket sales. During the 2010-11 season the Club played more games (65) and sold more tickets (1,187,810) than ever before, (MCFC, 2011c). This increase according to the Author clearly shows that the Club has been successful in increasing its fan base from the previous year as better ticket sales means potential supporters are showing more interest towards the Club.
According to a press release by SPORT+MARKT, (2011) the Barclays Premier League is followed by 70% of the football fans of the world. The Club’s broadcasting revenue was 43% (£54 million) last year; the Author points out that this was despite the club not receiving European broadcasting revenue, the Author also states that next year the revenue from broadcasting is bound to increase as the Club has qualified to play in the UEFA Champions League. Key103 Manchester’s no1 radio station is the official radio partner of the club; all live matches of MCFC are broadcasted on Key103 radio, (MCFC, 2011d).
Revenue from commercial activities has multiplied from the previous year to 37% (£46.7 million) despite the club not being a part of the UEFA Champions league. This is mainly because of the following activities:
- Manchester City have sold the stadium naming rights to Etihad, the national airliner of the UAE for a reported sum of £10 million a season for 10 years, which makes it the richest deal of its kind in football history, reports Ananth, (2011).
- MCFC have agreed to a 10-year deal with the leading sportswear brand Umbro, to sponsor the team kit, (Sportsmail Reporter, 2011).
- EA Sports, which is a leader in the gaming industry, is the official gaming partner of the club. Manchester City pined a deal with EA, which will see exclusive club content available to the supporters on FIFA 12, EA will invest experiential gaming areas in and around the stadium, which will further enhance City Square and the family zone (Mulholland, 2011).
- The official travel partner of the club is Thomas Cook Sports, it provides sale of tickets to the fans, Mach day packages etc. MCFC has also associated itself with AABAR, Jaguar, Mansion, Malmaison and Heineken UK in order to promote the club (MCFC, 2011e).
The activities listed above are some of the important activities carried out by the Club. According to the Author these activities help it to reap benefits by gaining popularity and growing in brand image at the same time generate revenue. The Club’s main objectives as stated above are firstly to develop a sustainable and successful football club for the fans and secondly to work closely with the society to further footballing ambitions; this is being justified to a great extent as:
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- Salman Mohammed (Author), 2011, Manchester City F.C. A Critical Marketing Review, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/193786